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Maine State Senate

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Maine State Senate

Seal of Maine.svg.png
General Information
Type:   Upper house
Term limits:   4 terms (8 years)
2014 session start:   January 4, 2012
Website:   Official Senate Page
Senate President:   Kevin Raye, (R)
Majority Leader:   Jonathan Courtney, (R)
Minority leader:   Barry Hobbins, (D)
Members:  35
   Democratic Party (

Republican Party (

Independent (1)
Length of term:   2 years
Authority:   Article IV--Part Third, Maine Constitution
Salary:   $13,526/year Sess. 1, $9,661/year Sess. 2 + per diem
Last Election:  November 2, 2010 (35 seats)
Next election:  November 6, 2012 (35 seats)
Redistricting:  Maine Legislature has control
The Maine State Senate is the upper house of the Maine Legislature. The Senate consists of 35 members representing an equal number of districts across the state. Unlike the Maine House of Representatives, the Senate does not set aside non-voting seats for Native tribes. Each member represents an average of 37,953 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[1] After the 2000 Census, each member represented 36,426 residents.[2]

The Senate meets at the Maine State House in Augusta.

Maine's senators are elected to two-year terms.


In 2010, the Senate was in session from January 6th to April 12th.

Article IV, Part Third of the Maine Constitution establishes when the Maine State Legislature, of which the Senate is a part, is to be in session. Section 1 of the Part states that, following a legislative election, the Legislature is to convene its first regular session on the first Wednesday of December. The second regular session of the legislature is to convene in the next even-numbered year. This second session is to convene on the first Wednesday after the first Tuesday in January. Section 1 also instructs the Legislature to enact statutory limits on the length of its regular sessions.

Section 1 also establishes the procedures for convening special sessions of the Legislature. A special session can be convened by the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House, with the consent of a majority of legislators from each political party.


See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the Senate will be in session from January 4 through April 18.

Major issues

Lawmakers are facing a $221 million budget deficit. They are also looking to restructure the state Medicaid system, reduce energy costs and improve charter schools.[3]


See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions

In 2011, the Senate was in session from December 1, 2010-June 28, 2011. Maine statutes required the legislature to adjourn by June 15, however, pursuant to Joint Order S.P. 520, the regular session was extended for five legislative days, slated to end on June 22, 2011.[4] However, on June 16, Governor Paul LePage ordered lawmakers home for 12 days, only to return to the statehouse for a special veto session to begin June 28. [5]


See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions

In 2010, the Legislature was in session from January 6th to April 12th. [6]



See also: Maine State Senate elections, 2012

Elections for the office of Maine State Senate will be held in Maine on November 6, 2012. A total of 35 seats will be up for election. The signature filing deadline is March 15, 2012.

Maine state senators are subject to term limits and may serve no more than four two-year terms. In 2012, 10 state senators will be termed-out.


See also: Maine State Senate elections, 2010

Elections for the office of Maine State Senate were held in Maine on November 2, 2010. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was March 15 at 5 PM-ET for Party Candidates and June 1 by 5 PM-ET for others. The primary election day was June 8, 2010.

Maine's state senators are elected to four-year terms. They are subject to term limits of no more than two consecutive four-year terms.

In 2010, the candidates running for state senate raised a total of $1,988,888 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were: [7]

Donor Amount
Public Fund $1,809,803
Nadeau, James A $8,386
Schweitzer, Daniel J $3,810
James A Nadeau/Loan Forgiven, $000 balance $3,500
Whalen, Francis J $3,194
Maine Association of Realtors $2,150
Millercoors $1,900
Maine Dental Association $1,800
Bangor Historic Track $1,750
Maine Credit Union League $1,650


Section 6 of Part 2 of Article 4 of the Maine Constitution states, "The Senators shall be 25 years of age at the commencement of the term, for which they are elected, and in all other respects their qualifications shall be the same as those of the Representatives."

Section 4 of Part 1 of Article 4 of the Maine Constitution states, "Qualifications; residency requirement. No person shall be a member of the House of Representatives, unless the person shall, at the commencement of the period for which the person is elected, have been 5 years a citizen of the United States, have arrived at the age of 21 years, have been a resident in this State one year; and for the 3 months next preceding the time of this person's election shall have been, and, during the period for which elected, shall continue to be a resident in the district which that person represents."


See also: How vacancies are filled in state legislatures
How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures
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If there is a vacancy in the Senate, a special election must be held to fill the vacant seat[8] [9]. The Governor must call for an election and allow all political committees representing the vacant seat to set all deadlines[10] [8] [9]. The person elected to the seat serves for the remainder of the unexpired term[11].

Term limits

See also: State legislatures with term limits

The Maine legislature is one of 15 state legislatures with term limits. Voters enacted the Maine Term Limits Act in 1993. That initiative said that Maine senators are subject to term limits of no more than four two-year terms, or a total of eight years.

The first year that the term limits enacted in 1993 impacted the ability of incumbents to run for office was in 1996.[12]



See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2011, members of the Maine legislature are paid $13,852/year (first regular session) and $10,082/year (second regular session). Legislators receive $38/day per diem for one of two options: housing or mileage and tolls. Additionally, legislators receive $32/day for meals.[13]

The $13,852/year that Maine legislators are paid as of 2011 is an increase over the $12,713 they were paid during legislative sessions in 2007. Per diem is the same as in 2011.[14]

Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state senates
Party As of April 2014
     Democratic Party 19
     Republican Party 15
     Independent 1
Total 35


The President of the Senate is elected by the full body. The President is the presiding officer, whose duties include appointing all committees and a President Pro Tempore, enforce order, and vote in all cases. The President Pro Tempore serves as presiding officer when the President is absent.[15][16][17]

Current leadership

Position Representative Party
President of the Senate Kevin Raye Ends.png Republican
State Senate Majority Leader Jonathan Courtney Ends.png Republican
State Senate Assistant Majority Leader Debra Plowman Ends.png Republican
State Senate Minority Leader Barry Hobbins Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Assistant Minority Leader Justin Alfond Electiondot.png Democratic

When sworn in

See also: When state legislators assume office after a general election

Maine legislators assume office after the first Wednesday in December after their election.

List of current members

District Representative Party Residence
1 Dawn Hill Electiondot.png Democratic York
2 Ronald Collins Ends.png Republican Wells
3 Jonathan Courtney Ends.png Republican Sanford
4 Nancy Sullivan Electiondot.png Democratic Biddeford
5 Barry Hobbins Electiondot.png Democratic Saco
6 Philip Bartlett Electiondot.png Democratic Gorham
7 Cynthia Dill Electiondot.png Democratic South Portland
8 Justin Alfond Electiondot.png Democratic Portland
9 Joseph Brannigan Electiondot.png Democratic Portland
10 Stanley Gerzofsky Electiondot.png Democratic Freeport
11 Richard Woodbury Grey.png Nonpartisan Yarmouth
12 Bill Diamond Electiondot.png Democratic Windham
13 David Hastings Ends.png Republican Fryeburg
14 John Patrick Electiondot.png Democratic Rumford
15 Lois Snowe Mello Ends.png Republican Poland
16 Margaret Craven Electiondot.png Democratic Lewiston
17 Garrett Mason Ends.png Republican Lisbon Falls
18 Thomas Saviello Ends.png Republican Wilton
19 Seth Goodall Electiondot.png Democratic Phippsburg
20 Chris Johnson Electiondot.png Democratic Somerville
21 Earle McCormick Ends.png Republican West Gardiner
22 Christopher Rector Ends.png Republican Union
23 Michael Thibodeau Ends.png Republican Winterport
24 Roger Katz Ends.png Republican Augusta
25 Thomas Martin, Jr. Ends.png Republican Benton
26 Rodney Whittemore Ends.png Republican Skowhegan
27 Douglas Thomas Ends.png Republican Ripley
28 Brian Langley Ends.png Republican Ellsworth
29 Kevin Raye Ends.png Republican Perry
30 Elizabeth Schneider Electiondot.png Democratic Orono
31 Richard Rosen Ends.png Republican Bucksport
32 Nichi Farnham Ends.png Republican Bangor
33 Debra Plowman Ends.png Republican Hampden
34 Roger Sherman Ends.png Republican Hodgdon
35 Troy Dale Jackson Electiondot.png Democratic Eagle Lake

Senate Standing Committees

There are five (5) Senate Standing Committees:

Joint Standing Committees of the 125th Legislature

There are sixteen (16) Joint Standing Committees in the Legislature:

External links


Wikipedia® has an article on: